Guest Playlist: The songs that inspired Jackson Carroll’s “Holy Hell”

Sydney singer-songwriter Jackson Carroll dropped his sublime debut single, “Holy Hell” last Friday. The single is the first taste of Carroll’s forthcoming EP, and if the rest comes anywhere close to this single then we’re in for a treat. The single was recorded at Sydney’s Noisegate Studios, with Luke Carra (Caravana Sun) and Ian Pritchett (Angus and Julia Stone) on production duties.  

“Holy Hell” is contemplative, emotive and the just the right amount of moody, immediately bringing to mind the likes of Jeff Buckley, Australia’s Matt Corby, as well as the Belgian-Egyptian artist Tamino, who’s also been channelling those Buckley vibes.

Carroll has put together, for us, a playlist of songs that influenced and inspired “Holy Hell”, and as you can see it shows an artist not averse to a little melancholy and intensity. So let me hand you over to Jackson to tell you a little bit more about the songs that made “Holy Hell”:

MGMT – “She Works Out Too Much”

This thing is so danceable – and I’m by no means a dancer, so that’s no small feat.

Radiohead – “15 Step”

Smooth, upbeat and absolutely electric.

Arctic Monkeys – “Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino”

The moody mystique of this track gave us the foundation for the sound of ‘Holy Hell’.

Talking Heads – “Slippery People”

My favourite track from my favourite band – hard to go wrong there.

The Last Shadow Puppets – “The Meeting Place”

Laid-back and beautiful, with just a hint of melancholy.

Swans – “To Be Kind”

Admittedly a far cry from my own material, but there’s something so gripping about the lyricism and its delivery that coats the track in a thick layer of sinisterness.

Pink Floyd – “Outside the Wall”

If it wasn’t clear before, I revel in the melancholy, and this track has that in spades while still maintaining a hopeful finality typical of any good rock opera closing track (Surely there must be a few of those by now? No?).

Ball Park Music – “Frank”

I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about that bassline and chord progression that just gets deep into my soul.

MGMT – “It’s Working”

It might be MGMT’s second contribution, but this track is just so damn uplifting that it shouldn’t be hard to see why.

Louis Cole – “Things”

A keen reminder that things don’t always go to plan – it would be grim if it wasn’t so gorgeous.

“Holy Hell” is available now. You can catch Jackson at the Beach Hotel in Byron Bay tonight. You can also keep up to date with Jackson via his Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

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Simon Clark

Simon Clark is the Books Editor at the AU review. A reader of books and admirer of songs, Simon has a PhD in English and Comparative Literature. All errant apostrophes are his, and his alone. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram at @simonjclark